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WASHINGTON-Operation HOPE, a leader in economic empowerment and financial services in underserved areas opened a new center last week in Washington, D.C., with a number of credit union officials on hand. Operation HOPE, Inc., with a $2.5 million commitment from E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corporation, opened the new HOPE Center with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Mayor Anthony Williams and a bus tour of the community revitalization East of the River with local and national public policy makers. The new center is aimed at providing home mortgages or small business loans with local financial services providers to provide access to capital. Three D.C. area credit unions, HEW Federal Credit Union, Andrews Federal Credit Union, and Tower Federal Credit Union are partnering with Operation Hope in the effort. NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, and Small Business Administrator Hector Barreto headlined the event. “The Hope Center is positioned to be a catalyst for empowering these underserved residents toward their American Dream, whether it is starting a small business, saving for retirement, or becoming homeowners,” Johnson said. “Operation Hope has a record of success in restoring a person’s hope and dreams for a brighter tomorrow through financial independence. Through these partnerships, credit unions can play a vital role in the delivery of these services.” Others who participated in the opening included Vice Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation John M. Reich, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Dr. David Sampson, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Councilmember Vincent Gray (Ward-7) and Councilmember Marion Barry (Ward-8). The Washington, D.C. HOPE Center is the seventh in the country, providing local residents with free financial seminars, digital literacy classes, workforce training, access to a state-of-the-art ATM, and online banking and lending services provided by E*TRADE FINANCIAL. “Operation HOPE seeks to bring economic self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America’s inner city communities,” Operation HOPE Founder John Bryant said. “Our partnership with E*TRADE FINANCIAL and other financial institutions and leaders in the community will help us realize the vision of the flagship Washington, D.C. HOPE Center -converting check cashing customers to banking customers, renters into new homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage workers with new job skills and the economically uneducated into the economically empowered.” [email protected]

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